News Local

Fire destroys snow plow in Cobourg

By Pete Fisher, Northumberland Today

A fire has destroyed one snow plow and caused extensive smoke damage to the Cobourg Public Works Yard after a fire overnight into Wednesday.

Damage is estimated to be at least $500,000.

Rick Lean, supervisor of roads and sewers, arrived for work at the yard located at 390 King Street West shortly after 6 a.m. and discovered the fire had burned itself out.

“I went to open the front door to get into the shop, turned the light switch on and it popped in my hand,” Lean said. “There was a very faint smell of smoke and I returned to my truck to call 9-1-1.”

Fire crews arrived and discovered a snow plow located approximately in the middle of the building had caught fire and destroyed the cab area and shroud for engine compartment before burning itself out.

Cobourg has six snow plows. In addition to the one that was destroyed by the fire, others suffered extensive smoke damage as did two sidewalk plows.

“There is horrendous smoke damage everywhere right through our offices, right in through computers, desks, lunch rooms, washrooms, everything,” Lean said. “It’s awful.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Lean said it may have been electrical.

“It’s a material that will burn until it’s gone,” said Cobourg Fire Captain Scott MacDonald. “With the rest of the truck being metal, it’s not going to spread beyond that.

“The parts that could burn on it did burn. The good thing is it wasn’t parked anywhere near other combustibles. It’s a steel clad building with a concrete ceiling so it didn’t spread beyond the truck. Once the fuel was gone it just snuffed itself out.”

The town’s insurance company has been notified and clean-up of the vehicles started around 10:30 a.m.

A plow from Hamilton Township is being used currently and Public Works are using other smaller vehicles to salt town roads at the present time.

A new building for Public Works, which is to be opened in the very near future in the Northam Industrial Park, is now being used by office staff.